I was on the search for a logging multimeter for ages. A friend mentioned he’d gotten this “Mooshimeter” – a meter I’d never heard of. I asked around about it, got in touch with James, and he sent over a refurbished unit for me to test and play with. Now, I’m not electrical engineer – I discussed that with him and I’ll say it up front to you. This isn’t going to be that kind of test. Consider it an overview, a how-it-works. And if nothing else, a bunch of photos of the unit!
Normally I just leave the “Official Specs and Features” at that link above. But this time, the Technical Specifications is likely more useful.
There are multiple iterations of the Mooshimeter. In fact the refurbished unit I have is a revision or two old. What’s shipping now is the most current edition, with all available upgrades.
The going price for these units is $125.
This is a very handy unit, and the app is useful and very functional. The battery life is a little short from what I was hoping. There are a few things I’d change, but as it is this is a fantastic unit!
- Three leads (two red and one black)
- Three alligator connectors for the leads (two reds and one black)
- Zipper pouch
- A couple of brief papers
Package and Manual
The package is a carrying case, with a full zipper. The parts are held in by mesh pockets. The case is semi-hard and protective. It’s a nice case. All in all this case makes the unit the size of a bigger unit like a Fluke 83V (for example).
The meter does not ship with a manual. There’s a little bit of paperwork which pays lip service to a manual, but it’s not complete. The website offers a couple of better means of support. The wiki is extremely helpful. The FAQ is also useful. And finally, there’s a support forum where users can discuss the meter. All in all, the information is out there, but not in “manual” format.
Build Quality and Disassembly
The body of the Mooshimeter is hard, clear plastic. The newer models have some Mooshi branding; mine is clear all over. (Purely cosmetic differences). This is a very neat body; I like seeing the insides!
The plugs are labeled (screen printed, maybe)? Common, Amps, Volts, and Resistance are the four posts.
The bottom of the unit has a sticker with tidbits of info about the meter, and two panhead machines screws.
Here are the two screws, removed. They’re quite long with small threads. Removing them often will get old, to be sure. And absolutely requires a tool. If I’m honest, I’d love to see some kind of attachment for the back of this unit – maybe a suction cup, or rubber feet, or… something. For example if there were 4 feet, thumb screws could be added, making for tool-less entry for cell changes.
Once disassembled, there are three basic parts. Top, bottom, and meter.
When removing the pcb from the top, the main point of connection is where the plugs connect to the board. Though there was never any issue here, I always had a concern of over flexing the pcb.
The top side of the pcb, with the two AA cells removed. Very fortunately, there’s screen printing on the pcb to show which direction the cells should be installed. Two places in fact – one of which can be seen when the cells aren’t present, and one that can be seen when the cells are present. This is fortunate, because coupled with the clear case, it can be seen if the cells are installed correctly. Clever (and handy).
There’s a microSD slot too. Used to be accessible from the outside, but some changes with safety in mind removed the external slot, and the case must be removed to install the microSD card. However since the logs can be accessed wirelessly, the card doesn’t have to be removed often anyway.
Here’s a side view! The cells really make up the bulk of this meter!!
As stated above, the whole package is about the size of some of the standard meters on the market.
Here’s the meter compared to a Brass Okluma DC1. Because why not.
The Mooshimeter is powered by two AA cells. Mine shipped with alkaline cells, but I’ve been using Eneloops.
The spec sheet says “More than a week of constant logging two channels at 8kHz.” I did not test that specifically, but I did have to charge the cells multiple times during (fairly minimal) use.
I’d love to be able to access the cells more easily. Or better yet, just charge them directly without removing them.
Three leads are provided. They’re fairly nice leads, with good coloring (two red, one black). They have right angle banana plugs, and very sharp tips.
They’re marked as Cat III leads, capable of use up to 20A. They’re not fluke leads, but they suited my needs just fine.
Also includes are three alligator clip tips. These attach to the leads via sleeves that the leads poke into. It’s a little tricky to get them connected, but practice helps.
There are four connections here. One of each: Common, Amps, Volts, and Resistance.
Something I like about this meter (that I haven’t liked all that much about other meters I have owned and torn down) is that the posts, where I’ll press the banana plugs into, are build into the housing which seems like a much more secure way to connect the parts, without the sensation that I’m going to break something. And these binding posts connect to the pcb via fully metal through holes. It’s a solid connection.
Here is the official wording on the capabilities of these connections:
- Up to 600V, DC or peak AC
- Up to 420VAC RMS sinusoidal
- Better than 0.5% accuracy DC
- Better than 1.0% accuracy AC for harmonic content below 1kHz
- >10 Megaohm input impedance
High Precision Voltage:
- Up to 100mV with <15nV per count resolution
- Up to 1.2V with <200nV per count resolution
- >10 Megaohm input impedance
- If used outside of the measurement range (0-1.2V), the overvoltage protection circuit will short this to the common (“C”) input.
- Up to 10 Amps
- 20 µV / mA burden voltage (using factory fuse)
- Less than 5 µA per count in 10 Amp scale
- Better than 1% accuracy
- Better than 1% accuracy over 20 Ohms – 20 Megaohms
Likely one of the ways the cost of this meter is within the “reasonable” realm, is that it leverages the screen of a smartphone, instead of having it’s own screen. This means that the meter has an app. Here’s the Android version. Here’s the iOS version. The connection is via Bluetooth. I used both versions, and wouldn’t say either is better or worse than the other. The Android I used was a much bigger screen, and I believe the app benefits from that. Below is basically the landing screen, once the meter is connected to the app.
Software and In-Use Shots
When the meter is up, and the app is looking, this is what you’ll see. If you have multiple meters, they’ll show in this list. I think there’s a limit to how many may be connected, but it’s many. Also in the settings, the meter may be renamed. If that’s been done, instead of saying “MooshimeterV.1”, it’ll say the name you’ve chosen.
It’s also possible to update the firmware over the air.
On to some in-use shots. Below is a graph that just sort of runs in the background while the meter is in use. If the phone (or “device,” but I’ll say “phone” to differentiate between the “Mooshimeter device” and “display device” – but other display devices do work) is flipped sideways, the graph comes up automatically. Flip the phone back vertical, and it switches back to the number display. I am not sure if this graph is exportable – I believe it is. Much more useful is to log this data and plot it manually.
Below an example of the meter in use. I’m reading 1V off of some voltage source, and no current. There’s 5 digit precision, and it’s common for these un-burdened categories to have a bit of noise.
Just about every setting has something that can be changed. See below many of these settings. I can’t begin to cover all of them, and some of them I don’t have the slightest idea about. I was interested in this unit for one thing (which we’ll see later).
Inside the Meter
Inside the meter has been mostly covered above during “Disassembly,” but there are a few other points I’d like to make.
Current is fused at 10A, and that a is my means of a 12A surface mount ceramic fuse. This is replaceable, by means of just popping the fuse out of it’s friction fit connectors. Another handy bit of silk-screened printing means we don’t have to go searching for what the fuse is. It’s printed right there!! It’s the Reomax 632.300.12.
As mentioned, logged data is stored on a microSD card (which is not provided). Up to 32gb cards will work. Below can be seen the cutout for the old microSD slot – this is no longer open, and the card can only be installed and removed when the case is opened. (I believe it’d be trivial to open this port to make the card accessible, but be reminded that this change was made in the interest of safety.)
Data is stored in CSV format, and I couldn’t sort a way to change what’s logged or how. The data looks like this:
It’s possible to turn logging off, even if a card is installed. It’s also possible to change the frequency of logging. I did not find a way to delete logs from the card, while it’s in the device. (This was a little frustrating – new logs sort to the bottom of the list.)
My primary means of retrieving the logs was to download them to my phone (as seen below), and then email them to myself. This is a little clunky, but works ok. It could be extremely nice to enable serial logging over bluetooth. That could cut out a step in the sequence!
As I said, the log list can get long – and it can clearly be seen that some of those are blank. I’d love to be able to remove logs via the app, from the card.
When a log is selected, it’s downloaded from the device to the app/phone storage. The rate of exchange is fairly slow, and larger files can take a bit of time.
And finally after discussing everything else (and while still talking about “logging”), we get to my main interest in this device. I really wanted to make a runtime graph with cell voltage and current logged. Here is that graph. It’s very crude, but I did the best I could with the tools at hand.
This runtime is of the Convoy S9, a light I reviewed not too long ago. It’s interesting to note how exactly the output (blue line) tracks the current. It’s interesting, I’m not sure it’s actually useful. If it is, let me know in the comments.
Random Comparisons and Competitive Options….
There are other meters out there with some of the features of this meter. The Uni-T UT71A/B for example, have bluetooth connectivity, and an app, and are around the same cost as the Mooshimeter. The EEVblog 121GW meter is another logging meter, but unfortunately much more expensive. Looks to be fantastic quality, though.
The Mooshimeter is easy to pick over those because of one simple feature (and one I haven’t mentioned in this review yet). Completely remote, disconnected logging. I can connect this device, and monitor it completely disconnected physically from the device, and obtain useful readings. I have been needing to trouble shoot an RC car. I can just connect this meter to the car, and drive the car around my yard, and then analyze the data – I can even watch the data as it’s collected! Truly, if this is the need you have, this is the meter for you!
What I like
- Remote logging
- Disconnected logging
- Build quality
- Nice, complete package
- Ability to read voltage and current simultaneously (“two channel” reading/logging)
- In continual development, and firmware is easy to update
What I don’t like
- No full manual
- Higher quality probes would be a nice touch
- Battery life, and removing the cells for swapping
Sorry for missing flashlight Monday! I’ll have two lights this week for certain. Maybe one more not-flashlight thing? We’ll see. Up next is another MecArmy light!
- This multimeter was provided by Mooshimeter for review. I was not paid to write this review.
- This content originally appeared at zeroair.org. Please visit there for the best experience!
- Whether or not I have a coupon for this light, I do have a bunch of coupons!! Have a look at my spreadsheet for those coupons. Note I’ve upgraded that sheet so that now, you may subscribe and get notifications when the sheet is edited!!